The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Flushing

curious ears

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A bit of personal business found a humble narrator at the zone in Queens where Flushing and College Point wash over each other again. There’s a Department of Motor Vehicles outpost here – which is fairly inaccessible by mass transit (well played DMV) – and I had some paperwork to deal with.

A couple of transfers on the subway and soon was a humble narrator scuttling down the street, heading for the greatest Kafkaesque bureaucracy ever created by anyone other than the crew who used to run the Soviet Union.

What? I’m not going to take pictures along the way?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s a concrete mixing factory and distribution center, based right along the waterfront at Flushing Bay. The street I was walking along leads to the on and off ramps of the Whitestone Expressway.

Not exactly pedestrian friendly, this area. And that’s coming from the Newtown Creek guy.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One is not terribly familiar with this section of Queens. My expertise revolves around the industrial corridors surrounding Newtown Creek, which I refer to as “the study area.” I can speak pretty intelligently about the zone between Woodside Avenue/58th street and the East River (and a similar section of Brooklyn) from Newtown Creek to Bowery Bay, but Flushing and the College Point area are very much their own thing. Broad stroke stuff would be all I can offer and I’d refer you to the Queens Historical Society for a detailed POV on the subject.

It bears mentioning that I find the historical community in Queens increasingly toxic these days, and will actually recoil when I see any of them coming. A lot of this toxicity is due to infighting, and a lack of funding for the various groups interested in the subject. For the one or two of you who are reading this and thinking “is he talking about me?” – go fuck yourself. Show up, do the work, stop being an asshole.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Having accomplished the filing and whatnot that I had come to the DMV to handle, it was decided to take a little walk on my way back to Astoria. My pathway to Flushing saw me depart the 7 train at its Main Street terminal stop, but I was a half hour walk away from the Mets/Citifield stop and it was a really nice early spring day, so…

Why not wave the camera around a bit? I didn’t go all fancy with these, and just cracked out shots of whatever happened to cross in front of me. I had a big “operation” happening a few days after this and didn’t want to go to nuts. This was March 4, btw.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It really is a shame, the way that the Borough of Queens treats the waterfront in areas where it hasn’t gentrified yet. Zero access here, there’s illegal dumping everywhere, and garbage is floating around in the water. I get so annoyed at the government types about this sort of thing, who “yada yada” about environmental issues but do nothing to fix them until the luxury condos projects are announced.

New York City’s government is a lot like your loser sibling who proclaims “this next year I’m going to get my shit together” at Christmas dinner before calling their dealer to deliver “las drogas” to your parent’s house, and who then crashes your dad’s car and tells your Mom that everything they just did is her fault because she served the wrong cranberry sauce.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Something I tell people these days is “that there is no threshold moment in your life when you will declare your shit as being together.” There is only now, so just do it. Whatever it is, just do it. If you’re fucking up, then maybe today you can try to fuck up a little less. Do the laundry.

Pfah.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Buy a book!

In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 19, 2022 at 11:00 am

somnolent stillness

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent occasion found a humble narrator somewhat east of the study area, specifically I was at the “angle” between College Point and Flushing, on a rainy day. The entirety of this exercise was typified by futility and frustration. On my way there, riding in a cab, I got stuck in a “frozen zone” on the Grand Central Parkway when the President of the United States arrived at LaGuardia. That turned my $25 cab ride into a $130 one. When I arrived, an hour late, at my appointment it turned out that I was missing several pieces of the documentation required to complete my business. This meant that I had paid $130 for nothing, and thereby I found myself walking towards Flushing’s Main Street and it’s 7 Line Subway station in a defeated manner. $132.75 down, now.

At least I was able to crack out a few shots along the way, but this was also one of the “sometimes” when it rains.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s hard for me not to think “dystopian shit hole” these days.

Everything is broken. It’s not due to COVID either. The entire “system” is broken. I shouldn’t have to petition a member of Congress for help with local issues, and the fact that the City of New York is a-ok with what Flushing Bay looks like isn’t too cool either. Y’know what would improve things here? Luxury Condos… oh, don’t worry, they’ve already got plans drawn up for that.

Bah. It’s all so god damned depressing.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve since located and or replaced the missing documents I needed, which were required for my official business, and have since completed what I came out here to do on a subsequent trip. The good news is that on that second trip I didn’t end up getting banged out on an exploded and bloated cab fare due to the arrival of an American President at LaGuardia Airport.

Before you ask – Department of Motor Vehicles. I stupidly allowed my driver’s license to expire about ten years ago. This hasn’t been a problem, at all, for me. Thing is, one constant regret during the COVID period has been a lack of personal transportation. Lesson learned. Documents are being sorted out as you’re reading this, and the problem will be solved shortly. As the song says – “On the road again.”


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle


Buy a book!

In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 17, 2022 at 11:00 am

dampened brow

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Terrifying.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So, as mentioned in yesterday’s post, the plan for last night involved the Flushing Bay Promenade and a presentation by the NYC Parks Dept. about the World’s Fair Marina, which is a project I’m paying attention to for some reason. My plan and path was fairly simple, take the R line subway to Jackson Heights and transfer to the 7, which would take me to the Citifield Willets stop, and then I’d walk down Seaver Way (sigh), under Northern Blvd. and the Grand Central Parkway elevated ramps and north to the World’s Fair Promenade waterfront.

This is what passed for a pedestrian path, basically the paved shoulder of an Onramp for the Grand Central and a local road turnoff for one of the Park’s parking lots.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Traffic was literally whizzing by no more than a few feet from that waist height guard rail you see. Standing behind a stout light post, while one cracked out a few shots, an attendant for the parking lot was sweeping something up on the other side of that iron fence, and the fellow informed me that the only way to access his side of the fence would be by walking around on to the local street’s exit shoulder. What?

What?

This is officially part of Flushing Meadow Corona Park I’m talking about getting to, a long block away from the Mets, and you have to walk on an unpaved and unshielded shoulder? What? Carcentric much?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Y’know, it takes a special and noteworthy kind of genius to design a human trap like this.

It’s also noteworthy that a guy who wanders around Newtown Creek’s industrial neighborhoods at night can be reduced to absolutely pooping his pants with terror while trying to access a NYC Park. What?

Just for reference’s sake, here’s what it looked like on the other side.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle


Buy a book!

In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 6, 2020 at 11:00 am

unholy ways

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Returning to Flushing Creek.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

First off, I’m beginning to figure this place out after having developed an interest in it earlier this year. Secondly, I wish that there were parts of my particular highly industrialized and polluted waterway that looked this good. This is an intertidal zone, with a sandy beach that leads into a marsh. There’s all sorts of evidence of filter feeding shellfish, lots of birds doing bird stuff, and expansive mats of algae everywhere you look. I imagine that if you were to shovel down a few feet, the ground would be teeming with all sorts of invertebrates and creepy crawlies. In many ways, this shoreline reminds me of the Jamaica Bay waterfront which I used to explore when I was a kid in South East Brooklyn.

I have got to find somebody willing to let me get into a rowboat with them on Flushing Creek this summer. If you’re that someone, get in touch.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Moving away from the water, and over into the parlor of the House of Moses, those highway ramps you see are (I think) the Northern Blvd. offramp of and the main stem of the Whitestone Expressway or “678.” The higher one on the right with the blue paint should be 678, but as I’m ignorant of exactly where the Van Wyck ends and the Whitestone starts, take that with a grain of salt. As mentioned, I’m still figuring this area out. If a google maps link helps, this shot was gathered right about here.

Apparently, this spot is often utilized by folks who want to smoke the weed, drink the drinks, or just do anything they want to without prying eyes. There’s lots of interesting graffiti on the pylons holding up the highway ramps, but otherwise it’s kind of a muddy no man’s land here in the House of Moses.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s all for this week, lords and ladies. This weekend, I’ll be conducting the Newtown Creekathon with my pal Will on Sunday, so a humble narrator will likely be fairly crippled afterwards.

There’s a few NYC anniversaries happening next week for those of you who like to “nerd out” about such things – on Monday the 29th, the Bronx Whitestone Bridge will turn 90, and on April 30 of 1921 The Port of Authority of New York and New Jersey officially opened for business. Additionally, on the 1st of May in 1931, the Empire State Building opened its doors.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Buy a book!

In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at blurb.com for $30.


Events!

The Third Annual, All Day, 100% Toxic, Newtown Creekathon. April 28th.

The Creekathon will start at Hunter’s Point South in LIC, and end at the Kingsland Wildflowers rooftop in Greenpoint. It will swing through the neighborhoods of LIC, Blissville, Maspeth, Ridgewood, East Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Greenpoint, visiting the numerous bridges that traverse the Creek. While we encourage folks to join us for the full adventure, attendees are welcome to join and depart as they wish. A full route map and logistics are forthcoming.This is an all day event. Your guides on this 12+ mile trek will be Mitch Waxman and Will Elkins of the Newtown Creek Alliance, and some of their amazing friends will likely show up along the way.

Click here to attend.

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 26, 2019 at 2:00 pm

schoolboys swapping

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Iron Triangle behind, Flushing Creek ahead.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The shots presented this week at this – your Newtown Pentacle – we’re gathered whilst attending a walk presented by the NYC H2O outfit. We started on Roosevelt Avenue, proceeded through what remains of the Iron Triangle at Willets Point, and then looped down and around towards Flushing Creek. This entire area is what I’d define as the “House of Moses,” as in Robert Moses. Pedestrian unfriendly, few if any points of access to the waterfront, and the needs of high speed roads and automotive “flow” given prominence over all other considerations.

The group negotiated the various on and off ramps of the surrounding highways and we headed towards Northern Blvd. where there’s an opportunity to get down to the waterfront.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Along the way, we encountered this late model fire engine which had an RV motor home hitched up to it. Signage adorning both fire engine and motor home indicated that it was the property of the “Ministry of Abraham,” which a humble narrator surmised as being a Korean church of some kind (a no shit sherlock level deduction offered there, the signage had Korean lettering alongside the english).

Before I got to know anybody who was ethnically Korean (when I was a kid), I always figured that Buddhism or some other “asian” faith was dominant in that part of the world. Turns out that there’s a pretty significant Protestant and Evangelical Christian population amongst those folks. Assumptions like that one is something I try to avoid as an adult. It’s where that part of me which gregariously sidles up to strangers and starts chatting with them has evolved out of.

The more you know, amirite?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One of the nice things about attending somebody else’s tour of somebody else’s highly polluted industrial waterway is that I get to interact with people who came on one of my walking tours, and reconnect with others whom I haven’t seen in a while. At Flushing Creek, I suddenly noticed that a friend I haven’t seen in maybe eight years was there, and a few people I’d walked around Newtown Creek came over and reintroduced themselves.

Tomorrow, more from Flushing Creek.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Buy a book!

In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at blurb.com for $30.


Events!

The Third Annual, All Day, 100% Toxic, Newtown Creekathon. April 28th.

The Creekathon will start at Hunter’s Point South in LIC, and end at the Kingsland Wildflowers rooftop in Greenpoint. It will swing through the neighborhoods of LIC, Blissville, Maspeth, Ridgewood, East Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Greenpoint, visiting the numerous bridges that traverse the Creek. While we encourage folks to join us for the full adventure, attendees are welcome to join and depart as they wish. A full route map and logistics are forthcoming.This is an all day event. Your guides on this 12+ mile trek will be Mitch Waxman and Will Elkins of the Newtown Creek Alliance, and some of their amazing friends will likely show up along the way.

Click here to attend.

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 25, 2019 at 2:15 pm

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